With winter time right around the corner most of us are fearing the inevitable cold and flu season. If you want to start taking steps to pump up your immune system now to fight against it, there are things that you can do to improve your overall health, and help your immune system fight off those nasty foreign invaders. The immune system is like the army of your body. It is designed to recognize and to fight against disease and illness. If you don’t feed it what it needs to work optimally, you are leaving yourself unprotected.
How does water help to aid in the function of the immune system?
We have all heard the advice to those with who succumb to illness of “get plenty of rest and get lots of fluids”, but most of us are confused by what “lots of fluids” really mean. There are many ways to hydrate your body from water, to fruit juices, to sugary sodas. That leaves us all scratching our heads wondering what the definition of “fluids” is. The key to keeping hydrated is that fluids keep the body in balance and supply it with the nutrients that it needs to fight off infection.
When you drink fluids it helps to keep mucus thin in the respiratory tract. When you have a cold mucus increases to fight against the foreign agents. When the mucus becomes too thick, it can hinder the function of the respiratory system because it can’t be expelled from the body. When that happens a person is susceptible to illnesses such as pneumonia. When you drink plenty of fluids it keeps the mucus thin and able to be expelled. That is why hydration is so crucial, especially when sick.
Why choosing water is a better alternative
Although true that some fruit juices contain nutrients such as vitamin C which is a known immune system booster, they also contain things such as high fructose corn syrup and refined sugars and preservatives. Drinking high amounts of fruit juices while sick, means that you are also consuming a high amount of calories and sugars that will hinder your body’s natural ability to fight infection. Water contains nothing besides the hydration that you need to fight off the flu. Calorie and sugar free, it supplies your body with all the things that it needs to heal and nothing else. It is alright to drink a glass or two of fruit juices when sick, but water should be the way that you maintain good hydration.
If you do choose to hydrate with other fluids then water it is best to stay away from sodas and choose juices which are high in electrolytes and vitamins and minerals. Sodas contain ingredients that can actually work counterintuitive to what you need by dehydrating the body, and blocking the absorption of essential nutrients. Being a careful ingredient checker is a good idea when trying to get over the common the cold and flu.